With Valentine’s Day upon us, advertising and marketing blitzes on how to show your love are everywhere. Instead of buying the usual gifts, why not take the one you love on a romantic day out?
In fact, finding that ultimate romantic spot is a worthwhile quest any time of year.
With beautiful countryside, incredible beaches, spectacular public gardens and great weather year round, Israel offers up a plethora of places perfect for rekindling your love.
Get started with these suggestions from ISRAEL21c:
The rose has long been a symbol of love and romance. And Israel is one of the world’s largest producers of flowers, especially roses.
So, where better to head than the Wohl Rose Garden in Jerusalem for a romantic stroll?
A walk along the path, past 15,000 rose bushes representing more than 400 varieties, is one of the most romantic ways to celebrate your love. The garden is also set up with secluded benches to keep couples from being disturbed during romantic pauses.
Desert surroundings, a starry sky and the world’s largest natural erosion crater make Mitzpe Ramon the perfect romantic getaway spot.
After watching the sun set behind the sand dunes, head over to astronomer Ira Machefsky – the Starman of Mitzpe Ramon – for a night astronomy tour you won’t soon forget.
Machefsky shows visitors how to find the constellations, identify bright stars, explore celestial marvels and experience the sky’s wonders. He also has a standing offer of a free star tour open to any couple who propose on one.
Bring a bottle of wine or hot tea to keep warm. Cuddling is also encouraged.
3. El Mona Gardens, Julis, Western Galilee
Follow the brides and grooms to the Druze village of Julis in the Western Galilee. This off-the-beaten-track community is the setting for the magical El Mona Garden, a privately owned garden that is open to the public.
The gardens boast a waterfall, fruit trees, countless flowers, mosaic artwork, wooden and stone sculptures and perhaps most importantly, secluded corners for a romantic rendezvous.
A local family has tended to this delightful leafy setting for over three generations and welcomes visitors to stroll around the grounds. There’s a reason northern residents of every ethnicity – Jews, Christians, Druze and Muslims – have turned this garden into one of the top pilgrimage sites for pre-wedding photography. Call ahead: 04-996-4760.
A night stroll in Jerusalem’s Old City is always romantic. But Cupid’s arrow seems to be pointing specifically at the Tower of David Museum in the capital.
Watch the sunset from the top of the citadel and enjoy the Night Spectacular show — a breathtaking sound and light show projected directly onto the 3,000-year-old walls.
Ambling along the museum’s ancient stone ramparts with their intimate nooks and crannies is another common romantic pastime. Just the right place for a kiss.
5. Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv-Jaffa
There are many romantic spots in the Tel Aviv-Jaffa area, but Old Jaffa is by far the most dreamy.
Take the arm of someone you love and walk along the beach promenade from Tel Aviv southward to Jaffa. Enjoy spectacular views of the beaches and the sun-drenched waves of the Mediterranean Sea.
The renovated Jaffa Harbor pier is a beautiful place to walk around or dine. Or climb up the stairs to the old winding stone alleyways that lead past quaint galleries and cafes to the popular Kedumim Square.
Old Jaffa is a picturesque district that offers a blend of European ambiance with Middle Eastern warmth – and perfect for a passion-filled day or night out.
6. Beit Yannai Beach, Beit Yannai
With 186 miles of sandy beaches, Israel’s shore has countless romantic picnic spots. But if you’re looking for a quiet, pristine and romantic stretch of beach, then Beit Yannai is the destination for you.
Located just north of Netanya, the Beit Yannai neighborhood is small, quaint and exclusive. The beaches reflect the area: clean, unspoiled and peaceful.
Pack a picnic basket, blanket and a good bottle of Israeli wine and relax to the sound of the waves.
How about a romantic hot-air balloon ride? There’s a reason so many people have gotten engaged – and some even married – in a flying basket above the ground.
Taking to the sky in a hot-air balloon is an unforgettable experience wherever you are. But taking a ride over Israel’s northern Negev area is all the more special. Float in the air over fields of flowers, plantations and historical sites.
While there’s a range of extreme sports in Israel, hot-air ballooning is best done as a couple. After all, it’s said that love is in the air.
Don’t forget to bring champagne.
8. Carmel Forest Spa, Carmel Forest Nature Reserve
Aaaah. That’s the best way to describe a visit to what is considered the best spa in Israel, the Carmel Forest Spa.
Situated in the heart of the Carmel Forest nature reserve, just outside of Haifa, this is the place to come to unwind.
It’s a child-free zone, so get ready for ultimate pampering and relaxation.
The spa hotel includes two swimming pools, authentic Turkish bath, wet and dry saunas, a fitness room and tennis courts. And, of course, a battery of masseurs ready to knead out every knot in your body.
The spa offers different couples packages – so go ahead and splurge. You’ll come away from this place feeling revitalized and refreshed.
9. Dead Sea
There’s no doubt that floating in the Dead Sea is a relaxing pastime. But a romantic getaway?
According to the popular blog, Romantic Travels, the lowest point on Earth holds the 33rd spot on a list of 100 most romantic places in the world to go with the one you love.
It’s time for a double dip in the mineral-packed salty waters, a slathering of therapeutic mud, and then a relaxing picnic on the beach. The amazing landscape surroundings are an added bonus to any date.
10. Sde Boker, Negev Desert
Although the tombs of David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, and his wife, Paula, may not sound like the most romantic of spots to have a date, anyone who has been there knows the opposite is true.
Surrounded by a beautiful arid-land park, the tombs are located at the most romantic sightseeing place in Israel.
Find a bench or a boulder and take in the breathtaking views of the Zin Valley. If you’re feeling in the mood for something a little more active, two short trails nearby – Ein Ovdat and Ein Akev – give visitors a closer view of the captivating desert scenery.